Space Harrier

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Description

Run… fly… dodge those obstacles, but return fire on wave after wave of attacking aliens. Armed with a really big gun, you have to defend yourself against the alien hordes using your wits to navigate around the screen. But watch out for those end of level bosses!

Originating in the arcades, Space Harrier is a third-person rail shooter with pseudo-3D graphics, set in the same world as Fantasy Zone. The lone titular hero fights aliens with a fireball-launching cannon, which can also be used to transform the hero into a flying rocket. The protagonist is constantly in motion, but the speed of his movement can be regulated by the player.

Screenshots

Space Harrier Arcade Blast the heads.
Space Harrier ZX Spectrum In game action
Space Harrier Commodore 64 Stage 9 - shooting at a formation of stone heads
Space Harrier Sharp X68000 Stage 4, hey it's that robot from the title screen

Alternate Titles

  • "Sega Ages: Space Harrier" -- Japanese Saturn title
  • "スペースハリアー" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An OK conversion of yet another Sega classic. DOS Satoshi Kunsai (1810)
Faithful Arcade Translation. SEGA 32X gametrader (229)
Excellent arcade translation. SEGA Master System Ash_1 (55)
Perfect Translation of an Old Game SEGA 32X ETJB (447)

Critic Reviews

All Game Guide SEGA Master System 1998 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Retro Gamer Wii Jul, 2009 88 out of 100 88
The Games Machine (UK) Atari ST Nov, 1988 85 out of 100 85
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amiga Apr, 1989 82 out of 100 82
Sega-16.com SEGA 32X May 23, 2005 7 out of 10 70
Digital Press - Classic Video Games SEGA 32X Jul 01, 2005 6 out of 10 60
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Mar, 1990 46 out of 100 46
Zzap! Commodore 64 Feb, 1987 45 out of 100 45
Svenska Hemdatornytt Amiga Apr, 1990 40 out of 100 40
The Video Game Critic SEGA Master System Dec 14, 2000 F 0

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Space Harrier appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Missing ports

Space Harrier was advertised for the Commodore 16/Plus 4 computer, and the (multi-platform) manual also had loading instructions for BBC and Electron computers. For reasons unknown, those ports never did appear.

Setting

Space Harrier originally mentioned that it took place in the Fantasy Zone just as the game of the same name, (remember the "Welcome to the Fantasy Zone! Get Ready!" intro?) and many have claimed that the games take place in the same universe considering the similarity in graphic design. While SEGA never made any official statement they did try to capitalize on the similarities with Space Fantasy Zone. An unreleased Fantasy Zone sequel for the PC Engine CD was developed that used the pseudo 3D gameplay of the Space Harrier series but used Opa-Opa and his gang of cute characters and levels.

It is unsure why the game never got released, but several beta copies have been leaked and you can easily find them around the net and run them with an emulator.

Super Scaler technology

First Sega game to come out that used "Super Scaler" technology.

Information also contributed by Zovni

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